Thursday, 31 October 2013

Scorpion-Eating Mice Feel No Sting

The sting of the Arizona bark scorpion is so fierce that humans say the pain is like being hit by a hammer. But the tiny grasshopper mouse shakes off the sting like it's nothing.

Now, researchers have found for the mouse, the sting really is nothing. Instead of causing pain, the scorpion venom blocks it, a fact that could lead to the development of new pain-blocking drugs for people.

"The venom actually blocks the pain signal that the venom is trying to send" to the mouse, said study researcher Ashlee Rowe of Michigan State University. "We don't want to try to sound too cute or anything, but it is sort of like an evolutionary martial art, where the grasshopper mice are turning the tables. They're using their opponents' strength against them."

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